Career Advice

Rejoining the Workforce: Post-Parenting Career Tips

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Taking care of children requires a lot of time and effort, and many parents have to stop their careers for a certain period of time to raise their children.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 56.5 percent of mothers with infants are in the labor force, and the number rises to 63.9 percent for mothers with children aged below 6 and more than 70 percent for those with children below 18. This means that mothers are likelier to get back to work as their children become older.

If you are planning to return to work after taking extended leave to take care of your child or children, you are bound to face some challenges.

Being away from work for a long time may make you lose touch with the working world, and constant worries about your children can affect your ability to stay focused at work.

So, how do you get back to work successfully after raising a child?


  • Assessing Skills and Interests: Reflect on your abilities and passions. Consider how your skills have evolved during parenting, like multitasking and time management. Research how these can translate into job skills.
  • Updating Your Resume: Revise your resume to include relevant experiences during your parenting break, such as volunteer work or part-time jobs. Highlight soft skills gained through parenting, like patience and organization.
  • Networking: Reconnect with former colleagues and expand your network. Attend industry events, join online professional groups, and reach out to old contacts. Networking is key to learning about job opportunities.
  • Professional Development: Enroll in courses or workshops to update your industry knowledge. This can include online certifications or local community college classes, showcasing your commitment to continuous learning.
  • Exploring Flexible Work Options: Consider job roles that offer flexibility, such as remote work or part-time positions. This can help balance work and family responsibilities more effectively.
  • Preparing for Interviews: Practice answering common interview questions and scenarios. Focus on how your time away from the workforce has enhanced your abilities and perspective.
  • Utilizing Job Search Resources: Make use of job search engines, recruitment agencies, and career counseling services. Tailor your job applications to each position to increase your chances of success.
  • Setting Realistic Expectations: Understand that the job market and your career path may have changed. Be open to entry-level positions or new industries, as they can provide valuable experience.
  • Maintaining Work-Life Balance: Prioritize time management and set boundaries to ensure a healthy balance between work and family life. This is crucial for long-term career satisfaction and personal well-being.
  • Staying Positive and Resilient: Job searching can be challenging. Stay optimistic, and don’t get discouraged by setbacks. Persistence and a positive attitude can open doors to new opportunities.

Choose the Right Career

Many stay-at-home moms and dads decide to resume the careers they had before they took time off to raise their children. This may not be the best option for you, because you have developed new knowledge and skills, and grown as a person while you were raising your child or children.

With a different outlook on life and new priorities, you may find another career more appealing. In order to select the right career, you need to take many factors into consideration, including salary, work hours, commuting requirements, job role, type of organization, work environment, professional development, career advancement opportunities, personal fulfillment, and others.

Make a list of all the factors that can influence your career choice, ranking them in order of importance.

Update Your Resume

Since you have been away from the workforce for a long time, there will be a big gap in your resume.

A work history gap can hurt your chances of getting hired, and you need to fill it as best as you can. If you have done any work or attended any event that is related to the job you are applying for, you should include it in your resume.

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Examples of activities you can list in freelance work, part-time work, volunteer work, courses, conferences, and others.

If you cannot come up with anything relevant, you may want to consider taking a class to update your knowledge and skills.

Trends and practices can change dramatically in just a few years, and the knowledge and skills you have may not be as relevant as before.

In order to return to the workforce successfully, you have to learn about the latest trends and practices in the industry you wish to enter.

You can do so by getting in touch with people who are in the industry through social media, taking courses, attending trade shows and conferences, and reading the latest blog posts and news about the industry.

By following the tips above and maintaining a high level of confidence, you can improve the odds that you will land your dream job and be a successful careerist and a great parent at the same time.

Back to Work After Baby: How to Plan and Navigate a Mindful Return from Maternity Leave

This book is what every new mother needs, but just doesn’t know it. It is a must-read for practical reasons, with invaluable coping tips, and for emotional reasons, reminding us women that we are not alone. 

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05/23/2024 02:23 pm GMT

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